Evaluation of cell metabolic adaptation in wound and tumour by Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy

Diego Morone, Francesca D' Autilia, Tilo Schorn, Marco Erreni, Andrea Doni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acidic pH occurs in acute wounds progressing to healing as consequence of a cell metabolic adaptation in response to injury-induced tissue hypoperfusion. In tumours, high metabolic rate leads to acidosis affecting cancer progression. Acidic pH affects activities of remodelling cells in vitro. The pH measurement predicts healing in pathological wounds and success of surgical treatment of burns and chronic ulcers. However, current methods are limited to skin surface or based on detection of fluorescence intensity of specific sensitive probes that suffer of microenvironment factors. Herein, we ascertained relevance in vivo of cell metabolic adaptation in skin repair by interfering with anaerobic glycolysis. Moreover, a custom-designed skin imaging chamber, 2-Photon microscopy (2PM), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) and data mapping analyses were used to correlate maps of glycolytic activity in vivo as measurement of NADH intrinsic lifetime with areas of hypoxia and acidification in models of skin injury and cancer. The method was challenged by measuring the NADH profile by interfering with anaerobic glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Therefore, intravital NADH FLIM represents a tool for investigating cell metabolic adaptation occurring in wounds, as well as the relationship between cell metabolism and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6289
JournalSci. Rep.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2020


  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cellular Microenvironment
  • Dermoscopy/methods
  • Female
  • Glycolysis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods
  • NAD/metabolism
  • Neoplasms/metabolism
  • Wound Healing


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